READ: 2 Kings 3-4

THINK: Have you ever felt the bitter sting of shattered hopes and desires? The barren woman from Shunem knows the sting immediately – her grief here seems to confirm the doubt she experienced earlier when the holy man, Elisha, prophesied that she would have a son. At the time of the prophecy, not wanting to get her hopes up, she wouldn’t even let on that she desired a son. Now she seems to wish she’d never hoped at all.

Notice Elisha’s response to the woman in her fear, grief, and regret. Take several minutes to think about this. How might Elisha’s response reflect God’s response to her? What might God have been feeling as he watched her struggle with her son’s death?

PRAY: Explore your own heart to see if there are any deep desires there that you are afraid to trust God with. Can you tell him why you hold back? Ask him to show you his response to your desires and to help you trust him more, just as the Shunammite woman trusted Elisha enough to exposer her anguish to him.

LIVE: Henri Nouwen wrote, “At every moment you have to decide to trust the voice that says, ‘I love you. I knit you together in your mother’s womb’ (Psalm 139:13). Ponder this quote. What might your life look like if you were to take God at his word, believing that he knows all about you and cares for you as tenderly as Elisha cared for the Shunammite? How might you pray differently? Live differently?

– By Eugene Peterson in Solo

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